Asparagus: love it while it lasts

It’s the middle of the brief local asparagus season. We’re incredibly lucky to have superb local asparagus at the Waikato farmers’ markets. Bill and Irene Cummings of Greenfern-Les Asperges have been growing their certified organic asparagus since 2003. And they also...

Bananas in winter

I’m sitting in my kitchen on a frosty morning, thinking about winter crops in the Waikato. On the table is a basket of freshly picked locally grown bananas. That's the amazing seasonal abundance of this region. My bananas come from the Raglan garden of Tom Jackson....

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British pudding

Black pudding isn’t a dessert – it’s a kind of sausage. I love a good quality black pudding. It’s an arcane, weird, polarising delicacy that’s a cornerstone of British regional cuisine. My British father, Ralph Bulmer, enjoyed a traditional English breakfast, and...

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Artichoke abundance

This week I’ve been enjoying a big bag of Jerusalem artichokes. Readers of this blog may be aware that I’m partial to weird vegetables. I’ve discovered that many people haven’t tried the interesting and delicious Jerusalem artichoke. The artichokes came from my friend...

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Golden apples of the sun

Last weekend I spent a sunny autumn afternoon making apple juice with my friends and neighbours Clare Jackson and Tim Newton. I was helping them process some of their 100kg-plus apple harvest. I was very happy to take home a 5 litre bottle of sweet golden apple juice...

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A fortnight of marrows

Recently our fridge has been stuffed with big green marrows. My son Tom's friend had an abundance of marrows and we ended up with some of the monsters. Marrows are overgrown courgettes or zucchini. When you don’t check the garden for a few days at this time of year,...

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The joy of celery

It’s a great season for celery in the Waikato. Last weekend the Suncakes Gardens stall had piles of beautiful fresh unsprayed celery at Hamilton Farmers' Market. Celery is one of the unsung heroes of the vegetable kingdom. The celery we get in the supermarket all year...

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